When can I begin mentoring online?
Our online mentoring programs officially launch on October 1, 2020, but it’s possible mentors may not begin working with students until November 2020. For a look at key program dates, please see our calendar below.

Will I still meet with my student(s) during the school day?
Yes, most matches will still take place during the school day. To begin the year, mentors will join teachers’ virtual classrooms instead of physically going into school buildings. We’ll be launching an independent learning model later this year that will also provide students and mentors the opportunity to meet outside of class time.

What does a typical online mentoring session look like?
To begin the school year, all online mentoring sessions will resemble our typical in-person mentoring programs. Teachers will nominate students in need of additional support, and mentors will join those students in their virtual classrooms during the school day each week. In many cases, mentors and students will split into online breakout rooms and work together one-on-one or in small groups. Teachers or other school staff will serve as proctors for the safety and security of all parties.

How does BPS define “in-class” vs. “out of class” online learning?
BPS has referred to the distinction between these as:

  • Synchronous learning: a teacher-led virtual classroom
  • Asynchronous learning: students do work on their own, outside of a virtual classroom

Which platforms are BPS teachers using for video conferencing?
All schools will be using either Zoom or Google Meet. Teachers will indicate which video platform they are using when they make a student nomination.

For BPS guidance on safe use of Google Meet and Zoom, please see here. Note that this does NOT teach you how to use the platforms, just how to do so safely.

How will I get access to a video link to meet with my student(s)?
Once you pick your start date and the mentoring match is confirmed, a Partnerships Manager will share the video link to your students’ online classroom with you. 

How will I get content to work on with my student(s)?
Consistent communication with your teacher is not only important to discuss student progress, but to get the content you will be working on with your student. If your teacher does not provide you with content at the start of your match, you can also ask your student what they are working on in the specified subject.

Are all virtual mentoring sessions required to be monitored in some way?
Yes. Per BPS’s updated Guidance for Partners Providing Online Programming, parents/guardians are recommended for sessions outside of the synchronous learning setting. In a synchronous setting, the teacher is the monitor.

Can mentoring sessions be recorded?
No, recording of mentoring sessions is strictly prohibited.